Friday, November 2, 2012

Taking Stock of My Preparedness Factor

Counting items to add to my "to do" list

I am a self confessed newsaholic!!  It can be like white noise in the background, but it's on most of the time.  A serious time of fasting for me has to include news.  Sad really, but if this were true confession time this is mine.  So with all the coverage on currently with regard to hurricane Sandy, I had to sit and take stock of my emergency preparedness.

You know everytime we have even a little shaker there's always talk here in So Cal about "the BIG one".  I've had my emergency supplies, food, water, first aid kits, batteries, tents, etc for some time.  Yet as I watch "civilized" people quickly going into meltdown mode when the conveniences and real needs aren't there, it makes you take time to think, am I really prepared?

Now I confess, unless there's a super fire threat, we won't be planning for a "bug out" option.  Sheltering in place makes the most sense.  I have food stores, a LARGE water storage tank as we are on a well, back up cooking supplies in the form of grills and camping stove, along with fuel needs for these. We are on propane, so stove and oven will still work provided supply hasn't been blown in a truly large earthquake that damages our tanks or lines.

I've had to admit we are far more used to and dependent on internet and cable than I supposed.  Got a test of this with my serious computer issues last month and this past weekend when literally some small bug severed the fiber optic line that came into our house and took out home phone, cable and internet.  So, have to get our solar operated radio on the ready in case it's needed.  This also has a cell phone charger and after watching coverage of New Yorkers standing in long lines and actually having to use pay phones because they can't charge their smart phones, this now seems more important than when I first bought the thing.

Okay, where do I really fall short currently?  Though we have a generator, because of lack of use gas gummed up the fuel line and parts and Kevin's not been able to really get it up and running.  This becomes a priority to get it in and fixed.   Having some gas stored is a must so when we need the generator we'll have it.  To keep it "fresh" we can use on the chipper/ shredder or tractor then replace immediately.  I always try to keep fuel full in the vehicles and doing this did help us wait out the HUGE, yet temporary gas spike we in California experienced recently.  The generator, once fixed, can help keep the refrigerator and freezer going and refresh the water in the tank from the well.  Gravity flow will allow us to get it out from there, but we would have to go into camping mode for awhile to get by. 

We have a fireplace and wood to burn, though our home in So Cal doesn't get snow it does get cold in the winter, especially for us thin blooded desert dwellers  : )  Lighting is covered with lots of flashlights and batteries, candles and a couple of solar flashlights or crank ones.  Seriously though, as I look at the extended time our East Coast neighbors will be dealing with outages, looking into more usable light sources for extended time periods of outages seems far more important now. 

 I have stocks of the extras you don't want to have to run to the store for as well - toilet paper, toothpaste, soap and the like.  We can go a long time with my storage here, but I think I need to add to things like paper plates and disposable cutlery and cups.  Though I have some, for a truly extended time period I'd need more and I really don't want to have to boil water for washing a lot of dishes.

We are better prepared than some, but the reality of watching these tragic images and the need to survive without all we in our society have become so accustomed to, makes me really take time to take stock of how prepared am I, and what can I do to be more so?   There's no anticipating every possibility  that life or nature might throw your way, but in the areas we can do something it seems even wiser now to prepare than to regret it when you need it most.  

How about you, are you prepared for even small cuts in the regular services you are used to?


  1. You are definitely well prepared.

    1. In truth you can do what you can and then hope you are. Thanks for stopping by Paps.

  2. You're right, Lynda, you do what you can and hope it's enough. Though I was blessed to have power after 5 days and was able to stay with a relative who only lost power for 3 days, I'd love to be able to get a generator hard-wired into my heating oil tank and switch out my stove for a (gas)propane one. Those two things alone would allow me to stay in my home as well as provide for others.

    1. Thanks Guerrina,
      It's just a matter of doing what you can for providing for your family and others if and when it's needed. We've had shorter periods when after an accident, or a fire a transformer went down that impacted our electric feed and that was when I first thought I need to be better prepared if the time period is ever more extended.